Scientists transform tobacco info factory for high-value proteins
Researchers in greenhouse
Steven Huber (left), David Drag (center), and Katarzyna Glowacka (right) inspect tobacco plants engineered to cheaply manufacture high-value proteins before transplant.
Photo by Justin McGrath/University of Illinois
July 8, 2019

Champaign, Ill. –– For thousands of years, plants have produced food for humans, but with genetic tweaks, they can also manufacture proteins like Ebola vaccines, antibodies to combat a range of conditions, and now, cellulase that is used in food processing and to break down crop waste to create biofuel. Today in Nature Plants, a team from Cornell University and the University of Illinois announced that crops can cheaply manufacture proteins inside their cellular power plants called chloroplasts—allowing the crops to be grown widely in fields rather than restrictive greenhouses—with no cost to yield. 

Read more from the Institute for Genomic Biology.